Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

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JustSW17
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby JustSW17 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:44 am

papinian wrote:Schools like Ravenstone which have a largely middle class parent base can often coast along without having good teaching because they benefit from parental support of children's learning (both by the parents themselves and also by paid tutoring etc.).
I'm not sure where this assumption that Ravenstone is largely middle class comes from. Have you been to the school? There is a very diverse mix of children at Ravenstone which reflects the local community. Yes, this includes children of middle class parents, but they only send their children there because they visit the school, see it in action and are happy to send their children there because they see that it an overwhelmingly positive and inclusive place.
papinian wrote:As I said earlier, perhaps the issue is that there is too much focus on all of the above and insufficient focus on English, maths and science. At the end of the day, very very few children will make a living at athletics, swimming, running or music. However, better English or maths skills coming out of primary school will always assist a child at secondary and beyond.
The activities that were being referred to by Ofsteadbollocks are almost exclusively extra-curricular activities, performed out-of-school-hours. These are not done to the detriment of core academic studies. I wouldn't send my kids there if they were (and I am lucky enough to have the option of sending my kids to private school if I wised to). It's just evidence of the committed nature of the teachers - I see no coasting.
papinian wrote:It's interesting to compare Ravenstone with other similar schools. Two figures that stood out for me are:

(i) a high level of students with a statement of special educational needs (over 16%) - significantly higher than other schools (Does anyone have any idea why this is the case?)

(ii) a higher percentage of expenditure on teaching assistants (22%) (which may or may not be related to (i) above).
Perhaps the reason, again, is that this reflects the mix of the local community? Also, the Head does not shirk away from the responsibility of having difficult children - they are welcomed, included and supported very well (hence the correspondingly high number of teaching assistants).
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papinian
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby papinian » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:32 pm

Cronut wrote:Maybe I am being mischievous as I am on a day off, but are the two posters above Papinian staff at Ravenstone, just wondering!!
I think Ravenstone staff have more sense. I suspect more likely owners of property in the area worried about the effect on catchment area house prices.

I do wonder what is wrong with people who refer to "ill-informed and reactionary parents" and that they are "shocked and saddened" by the reaction in this thread to the latest Ofsted. I think their reaction to our comments is far more hyperbolic than our reaction to the Ofsted.
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Mum36
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Re: Latest Ravenstone Ofsted Report

Postby Mum36 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:30 pm

Hi All, for anyone who wants a reference on Fircroft Primary School I can thoroughly recommend it. When looking for a school, I researched every local state school very thoroughly visiting each at least once, and felt a strong infinity with Fircroft. My child is now in their second year there and I'm really happy with their progress at the school. There is a particular emphasis on phonics and the school performed very well in the Year 1 Phonics Check recently.
From talking to mums at the school with older children, it seems Fircroft is equally good at developing 'bright' children and also helping those who need more support to fulfil their potential. It is a very inclusive community, with families from all walks of life. Tooting Bec is tipped to be the 'new Balham' by all the local estate agents so if you're in the process of choosing a school for September 2014, it may be worth taking a look around Fircroft to form your own opinion. PS And by the way, I'm just a mum who's happy with the school, I don't work there! :)
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balhamite
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby balhamite » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:43 pm

Looking at the admissions distances in the choose a wandsworth primary school brochure it shows that Fircroft actually had a much smaller catchment area than Ravenstone last year 584m vs 922m.

Can anyone explain why Ravestone's distance changed so much between offer day and the brochure publication date (592m on offer day then 922m when the brochure was published)? Does this imply a lot of families changes their minds?
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Cronut
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby Cronut » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:25 pm

Balhamite, yes they do change their minds, as friends of ours have done between applying and school start date (>9months), and I know of families who have moved out of the area during that period too.

Oh such a lottery!!
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papinian
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby papinian » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:42 pm

balhamite wrote:Looking at the admissions distances in the choose a wandsworth primary school brochure it shows that Fircroft actually had a much smaller catchment area than Ravenstone last year 584m vs 922m.

Can anyone explain why Ravestone's distance changed so much between offer day and the brochure publication date (592m on offer day then 922m when the brochure was published)? Does this imply a lot of families changes their minds?
My thoughts on your comments Balhamite:

- Smaller catchment areas don't always mean more demand. It can mean a greater density of housing/young families around the school. I think a bit (not all) of the difference between admissions distances between Fircroft and Ravenstone is a reflection of the housing around the two schools.

- Ravenstone's distance changes because there is a portion of parents in the "catchment area" for Ravenstone for whom independent schools are an option but who want a back-up option.
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Ofsteadbollocks
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby Ofsteadbollocks » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:45 pm

papinian wrote:I think Ravenstone staff have more sense. I suspect more likely owners of property in the area worried about the effect on catchment area house prices.

I do wonder what is wrong with people who refer to "ill-informed and reactionary parents" and that they are "shocked and saddened" by the reaction in this thread to the latest Ofsted. I think their reaction to our comments is far more hyperbolic than our reaction to the Ofsted.
Not a teacher, not bothered about housing prices (how odd that you would think that), just frustrated at the conjecture and criticism of the school and the teachers by people without first hand knowledge. Just trying to redress the balance.

I would hate that prospective parents might miss out on what may be their closest school and which we have found to be a great school, just because of a poor Ofstead rating. No other agenda - sorry to disappoint.
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supergirl
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby supergirl » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:33 pm

I do not have experiences on ravenstone (other than the fact that i remember thinking after purchasing pur house that we should have done our homework better and considered buying in ravenstone catchment!) but i have 2 experiences that may be relevant to the discussion.

1. Take Highview. Results are very equivalent (if slightly better than Belleville) at KS2. Results at KS1 are under. Which means the teaching is spot on and excellent because they raise children from a lower level to an excellent one come KS2. Highview has less extra curricular activities than Belleville (they do however offer Mandarin amongst other thing which i think is the way forward compare to french). But their offsted is good and was before "improving". The fact that the offsted is good means a lot because it is within the new frame of the offsted. So in yesterdays offsted "good" would have meant "good with some outstanding features" or whatever words they use.
The new offsted is a lot more draconian on the schools.

2. I ve been lucky (or not) to meet recently with someone from offsted who has told me that the change they are implementing in their reports. Instead of 4 grades they will only be 3. Which means schools need to work a lot harder to get a "good" for ex.

I wouldnt worry at all about ravenstone, if anything it may shake them up a little. But given the parents involvment and the staff involvment it will definitively happen. Offsted are now being harsh on the schools, and for me i think it is good because it means nobody can rest on their laurels.

I sooo wish Belleville had an offsted report coming soon... I bet people would be surprise, the same way it suprised ravenstone.

Having said that I truly believe that some people should realise there is more factors to consider than just an offsted report, and removing a child from a dchool because the report is not what it should be not only is disruptive to the child but also very unfair on the school. Let the child finish the school year at the very least.
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tillywith2boys
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby tillywith2boys » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:07 pm

Hello

I have 2 children, both of which have been at Ravenstone (one still there).

I don't regret my decision at all (I took the eldest out of private locally really early on as I didn't like what I saw and he moved to Ravenstone).

It's a wonderful, happy, secure, well rounded school, with a wonderful headmaster and a great ethos that is delivered consistently.

I don't know much about Ofsted reports. I do know that when I moved my first son into Ravenstone it was after meeting the staff and the headmaster.

I'd recommend anyone with any doubts do the same.

I also note from the parent questionnaire that all of the parents (last time I looked - about 10 days ago - maybe this has made some wobble since) would recommend the school.

I think that counts for a lot. I know people with more children than us, more spaced out age wise, who have had their children attend, and whose children are continuing to flourish in many ways at a variety of great secondary schools (state and private).

I don't doubt that Ofsted have some recommendations for improvements for all schools. I also don't doubt that these are being taken very seriously by this school. Actually, I know that the staff and the headmaster (and many of the parents) are devastated by the report.

My eldest has moved to a truly amazing (- in my view - and private, if that matters) secondary school, which I chose (well, I chose as a choice and he got in on exam and interview, so not down to me at the end of the day!) for the same reasons I chose Ravenstone - well balanced, teaching children the things I think are important within and outside of the curriculum, giving them experiences of life and opportunities. That's what I think they do really well, and I'm quite sure they'll continue to do that.

I'm really proud of the school, and I'm proud that we've been part of it.

I would say that I wouldn't want anyone to judge Ravenstone by this report alone.

Go talk to the staff, and the parents, and meet the children, before fleeing, or before deciding against it as a choice for your children.

I don't regret my decision for one minute.
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3boysrock
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby 3boysrock » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:32 am

I couldn't agree with you more tillywith2boys, we are so thrilled with Ravenstone. We turned down our place at private school to go to Ravenstone and have not regretted it for a minute. Our son is happy, confident, learning every day, and most importantly loving learning. He often says he wishes he could go to school every day and I have a feeling he means it!

The staff are dedicated, loving and talented, we have huge respect for the Head and Deputy Head, and I have never felt that my son was receiving anything other than a well-rounded education.

I have also been so massively impressed by the shows and plays they put on, the Sports Day, the summer fete, the PTA-led activities. Each week at Assembly they take it in turns to show an aspect of the work they are doing. The children are articulate, creative and the work is simply phenomenal. Their public speaking skills are amazing! There are book sales, cake sales, Christmas shopping events, and my favourite which is the delicious KS1 Snowman showing where they all change into their pj's and watch the film with a whole load of popcorn, including the teachers! It's everything you would hope to see in a friendly successful happy school.

There's a fantastic community feel in the school and it really portrays the best of the mixed and vibrant community Balham is, and we couldn't be happier or more proud to be part of it. There are great after-school clubs, and certainly my son couldn't be more settled. His only complaint would be that his brothers haven't yet joined him there!

We will have no hesitation in sending all our trio there, and I know they will thrive at Ravenstone. I am sure that the OFSTED report will have deeply saddened and disappointed the staff as indeed it has many of us parents, and as a governor (at a different school) I am only too aware of how difficult it now is to get an Excellent rating. I would end just by saying that as others have said above, you must go to the school and look around before coming to your own conclusion: OFSTED can never give the full picture.
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Proudmumof2
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby Proudmumof2 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:08 am

There is little need for worry if you are middle class and have a child attending Ravenstone. I have it on great authority the Head and teaching staff are kind, friendly, engaging and very informative.

My friends have two bright children, currently studying within this school.
Throughout the years they have been informed by the Ravenstone teaching staff which children their children are best suited to, thereby enhancing their learning and social wellbeing within school.

The couple then arranged for their children to be kept together with their new friends who are of similar class by requesting in letter they are not to be seperated once moved from nursey to the reception class thus guaranteeing they have close bonds with their selected peers but still are well rounded by studying within a school with the ethnic minority and children from other faiths.

From there on, things have move very smoothly.

Private tutorial classes from year two and when the time approaches, rent closer to Gravney school and/or prepare your child for entrance exams.

They know how to play the game and their eldest looks set to accomplish great results from the nurturing and encouragment of the teaching staff and their friend's parents. My own child attends private.

Yes, the school has a diverse group of students, but my friends for one are proud to have the benefit of being middleclass. Why shouldn't they take up these oppotunities for their children to florish here. They are regularly involved with the PTA committee and events and are on speaking terms with one of the governors.

My advice to any parent of a Ravenstone child is not to worry. I have heard from parents the report is most certainly based on a select few grumpy, bitter parents with troublesome children within the school.

Apologise in advance for any typing and grammatical errors. Typing on blackberry.
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Pud1
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby Pud1 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:17 am

Am speechless Proudmumof2.

'Little need to worry if you are middle class'
'..arranged for their children to be kept together with friends of a similar class'
'..proud to have the benefit of being middle class'

This is an unbelievable post. The sense of entitlement is just awful, and the implication that children from a more well off background are somehow more worthy? Sickening in my book.
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Pud1
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby Pud1 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:18 am

The other thing I wanted to say is, how does anyone know what the report says if it hasn't been published yet?
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livegreen
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby livegreen » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:58 am

Snoopydog - I would suggest that @proudmumof2 is a troll and attempting to wind you up. Note no facts, no first hand information etc and only registered to post her "second hand viewpoint" at 6am this morning.
Note she has everything on "great authority" - ie its made up.
Ofsted report only based on a few grumpy parents etc. Bonkers.

Why do people make these posts up ?
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Cronut
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Re: Latest Ravenestone Ofstead Report

Postby Cronut » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:20 am

Snoopy Dog,

Speak!!

The post is clearly someone who has absorbed too much Halloween Cheer, take no notice, complete troll, have they nothing better to do so early in the morning!!
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